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Direction in the Pokemon anime

Discussion in 'Pokémon Animé Discussion' started by mehmeh1, Jan 31, 2020.

  1. mehmeh1

    mehmeh1 ^Probably Steven Universe?

    So of course, many people talk about the anime's animation and writing, and its pros and cons, so why not make a thread about the direction? Even from the very first episode we have beautifully directed scenes, most notably the one we all remember, Ash declaring he will be a pokemon master and Pikachu jumping in to protect him from the flock of spearows. The rain, the blue hues from the lightnings, the music (dub, searching for pre-BW jp is like finding a needle in a haystack), and even the low framerate when Pikachu jumps make this scene have a lot more dramatic and emotional impact than they would otherwise.
    Do any of you know any other examples of directing that you find notable (either notably great or notably bad) in the anime?
  2. TheWanderingMist

    TheWanderingMist Gaganga, Keeper of the Gates Impartial

    I can't really tell whether it's the director or the animators doing the cool things, so I don't have any examples.
  3. mehmeh1

    mehmeh1 ^Probably Steven Universe?

    Post whatever cool thing you have in mind if you want to, it's most likely a mix of both
    Leonhart likes this.
  4. AznKei

    AznKei Badass girls saving their boyfriends. XD

    I thought this animation style was pretty common during the 1990s, as I remember watching Sailor Moon before the anime came out. Even games like Megaman X4, uses the same animation style in its FMVs.
    Ubermuk and mehmeh1 like this.
  5. Leonhart

    Leonhart Imagineer

    I'm not very observant when it comes to animation in the anime, much less knowledgeable about art direction in general. But I specifically remember the Masaki's lighthouse episode because of the darker hues used during the nighttime scenes, such as during Masaki's speech when he used the hologram machine to create a chart with all the Gen I Pokemon, and also when he and the others saw the giant Kairyu walking toward the lighthouse. There was something eerie yet also beautiful about those scenes.
    mehmeh1 likes this.
  6. SerGoldenhandtheJust

    SerGoldenhandtheJust Well-Known Member

    I really loved the direction/art/animation of the entire Kukui vs ash final episode fight with Pikachu and tapu koko. Not only was the writing brilliant, but damn it was just so epic, the Z move clash was so good, and ash and Pikachu kamehameha'ing was so epic. That episode is probably in my top 5 easily
    Bortgreen, mehmeh1 and Leonhart like this.
  7. Epicocity

    Epicocity Well-Known Member

    At the risk of sounding like an XY fanboy, XY in general had some of the best cinematography and directing on an episode-to-episode basis than any other saga of the series.

    From overlaying the trainers on their Pokemon as they give orders, to allowing very little downtime in the flow of action. Some of the shots were top notch, be they from unique shots in the Ash vs. Clemont battle, down to things like Lucario using a double Bone Rush while he was struggling to obey Korrina.

    Particular standouts in directing for the sage undoubtedly goes to Ash vs. Clemont, the entirety of the Ash-Greninja arc, the Master Class, the League and Flare arcs.

    While I realize much of this likely has to do with storyboarding, it requires a deft hand at directing to bring out the best in that on the screen, and XY consistently excelled at in in spades in a way no other series before or since really did nearly as well. Most shots in a lot of the other series did end up devolving down to either still shots or very long shots on one particular moment, while XY very much "trimmed the fat" of any particular scene. Battles in particular were a treat if you compare any major battle in XY to both BW and SM. The latter two consistently had breaks in the action for commentary that ended up impacting the effect of a particular move clash, while XY would cut you back to the battle before you realized there was commentary. Not that there aren't exceptions. There are notable battles in XY where this isn't the case, and the reverse for the other two.

    However, it's just something I needed to point out since XY is often left on the chopping block with regards to its animation since SM came out, and writing always seems to be contentious, but the directing and cinematography is the one thing of XY that was absolutely and always on point.
  8. mehmeh1

    mehmeh1 ^Probably Steven Universe?

    Agree with this. While I prefer some of SM's direction outside of fights, XY absolutely trumps it when talking about battles, and it was amazingly directed outside of them too. The 3d camera (I still don't know why they brought back speed lines) and the more vibrant color pallette helped there too

    Yeah, they nailed it making Dragonite look like this mysterious and mythical giant
  9. shoz999

    shoz999 Do you wanna try a good Tapu Cocoa? My treat.


    As far as Pokemon movies go, Pokemon The Spell of the Unown is the most beautiful-looking movie in terms of art direction. If you have an eye for detail and you just love seeing the backgrounds of Pokemon, you may have notice that most of the time they are these commonly drawn mountains in purple and green. Not the majority of Pokemon The Spell of the Unown's backgrounds as seen in the image above. It is oddly refreshing and if you took out Team Rocket and the rest of the Pokemon stuff, it does feel like in many ways a Miyazaki film then it does a Pokemon film.
  10. mehmeh1

    mehmeh1 ^Probably Steven Universe?

    For a second I thought that was one of the DBZ movies, which also tend to have really beautiful backgrounds
  11. U.N. Owen

    U.N. Owen In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night ...

    I know stills from animation tend to look worse with age, but this actually looks better with age. It looks like someone sent a probe to an alien world and this is what we got.
  12. Epicocity

    Epicocity Well-Known Member

    The 3D Camera was definitely an innovation for the series, and, in my opinion, one of the most important things. You can see the changes with it, like Pikachu vs. Bunnelby starting the same, differentiated by the background, which wouldn't have been noticeable in past series, or would have truly just felt like stock footage.

    Though in general, a recent rewatch with some friends has us constantly pointing out the phenomenal shots and cinematography through the whole series, like how Lysandre is drawn softer when he's not manipulating, but with far more lines when he is. It's all those little things I could gush on about, but you get my point.
  13. Leonhart

    Leonhart Imagineer

    The Entei movie definitely had some impressive animation. I liked the crystal-covered landscape and the CGI that was used in that movie. Even though that installment is my least favorite of the first three Pokemon movies, I admit that it had the best art direction, and was a vast improvement over the first two movies in terms of aesthetics.
  14. mehmeh1

    mehmeh1 ^Probably Steven Universe?

    Yeah, the final fight with Lysandre used a lot of stock animation (i don't blame them, the league was really intensive with the animation), but the direction really helped keepikg it from being stale
    Ubermuk and SerGoldenhandtheJust like this.
  15. mehmeh1

    mehmeh1 ^Probably Steven Universe?

    I'll give a shoutout to Twilight Wings, which had an amazing use of warm colors and cgi backgrounds to portray everyone's emotions, especially with the kid who wanted to see Rose.
    Also, Eternatus' debut was just awe inspiring. I love it when they make legendaries actually feel like, well, creatures of legends
    SerGoldenhandtheJust likes this.
  16. Scorbunnie

    Scorbunnie Well-Known Member

    One of the best episodes when talking about art direction was Butterfree's departure episode especially the lighting during that farewell moment at sunset. So beautiful.
    mehmeh1 and Leonhart like this.
  17. Leonhart

    Leonhart Imagineer

    I liked the sunset colors in that scene as well as the tears animation when Satoshi cried, and even the hot air balloon scenes at the beginning were well done because it's not very often that the animators show a setting with Satoshi's group that takes place in the sky.
    mehmeh1 likes this.
  18. mehmeh1

    mehmeh1 ^Probably Steven Universe?

    I really liked
    that shot of Ash and Leon standing on opposite sides of the field on a crowded stadium, kinda like a preview of what will happen around 2 years from now

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